Auckland Transport and Fullers360 have today announced the details of customised ferry timetables, which will be in service on race days during the America's Cup World Series Auckland and PRADA Christmas Race from 17th – 20th December.
The timetables have been designed to accommodate the mandatory speed restrictions on the harbour that will occur from midday on race days to increase safety on the water. Fullers360 will operate a 45-minute service frequency for its Waiheke Island service and a 20-minute frequency for its Devonport service over this time. While network wide there may be longer journey times and possible delays, some of the selected courses have more of an impact on ferry destinations where the racecourse intercepts the usual ferry routes.
Gareth Willis, Ferry Services Manager at Auckland Transport, says that the race day timetables for ferry services are in keeping with prior announcements made by Auckland Transport with regards to how transport will run in and around the city and Hauraki Gulf on race days.
“We look forward to welcoming America’s Cup racing back to the city and have worked closely with Fullers360 to create timetables that work around races while causing the least amount of disruption for customers as possible,” Willis says.
“We do realise that there will be disruption on race days though and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience during these events. With each race that passes, we will continue to evaluate and refine our plans in order to minimize the impact to our customers as best we can.”
Mike Horne, Fullers360 Chief Executive Officer, says Fullers360 has worked closely with Auckland Transport and the Harbourmaster to deliver an appropriate race day timetable that reflects the required limits and restrictions in place for vessels travelling in the harbour on race days, while prioritising its customers’ needs.
“Fullers360 has been planning for the busy America’s Cup racing schedule with the relevant transport and maritime authorities to ensure we provide consistent and reliable services to Aucklanders and visitors. We have designed a bespoke race day schedule to accommodate the longer sailing times that are a result of the lower speed restrictions advised by the Harbourmaster. We recognise that these race day timetable changes will have a flow on effect on local communities. In advocating for our customers, we have been focussed on achieving sailing times that are viable while also prioritising safety on the water. We believe our race day timetable will minimise the inevitable disruptions of a busy America’s Cup racing schedule on the water.
“The upcoming Christmas Cup and America’s Cup events are a fantastic opportunity to boost Auckland’s economy, as well as support macro-economies around the Gulf that are expecting higher levels of visitation over this period. We are well positioned to deliver a resilient, frequent service despite the inevitable disruption of navigating in a more crowded water space and under speed restrictions.”
With over 200,000 visitors expected in the Auckland CBD over the America’s Cup period, Auckland Transport and Fullers360 are advising all Aucklanders and visitors to plan their journeys in advance, expect longer travel times and allow extra time for navigating foot traffic in downtown Auckland.
Horne recognises Fullers360’s crucial role to provide a functional, reliable transport service to destinations in the Hauraki Gulf for commuters and visitors and has a final message for customers.
“With expected large passenger volumes, and congestion both on and off the water during race days, we ask for patience from our customers as we navigate our ferry services through a dynamic and changeable environment,” says Horne.
For Fullers360’s race day timetable visit: https://www.fullers.co.nz/customer-updates/customer-updates/ferry-services-during-36th-america-s-cup/.
For information on ferry services during America’s Cup visit: https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/service-announcements/ferry-changes-due-to-the-americas-cup-world-series-regatta-and-christmas-race/.